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Voter Fraud Prompts Changes in Starr County

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Posted: Nov 28, 2012 6:21 PM

Updated: Nov 28, 2012 7:01 PM

RIO GRANDE CITY - Evidence of voter fraud in Starr County will change the way they conduct elections, officials said.

Starr County Elections Administrator Rudy Montalvo said someone voted twice in the recent general election. The county will now rely on electronic poll books to prevent voter fraud.

"It's an electronic register file. So there won't be any more paper. We won't have to look page by page," Montalvo said.

"In early voting, we have four sites. Every night those sites bring all of their 10 books and we sit down to compare to make sure that nobody voted twice," Montalvo said of plans for future elections.

"It's time to move forward," he said.

Starr County commissioners approved the purchase of the electronic polling books to check-in voters before they cast a ballot. They have not decided which company will supply the devices.

The devices cost an average of $1,500 each, according to CHANNEL 5 NEWS research. The cost for the lot would be $30,000. The cost will be covered with grant money, county officials said.

"With these poll books, the moment they hit ‘vote' it will hook up with all four. No body can vote twice anywhere," Montalvo said.

The devices will not change the way voters cast their votes, he said.

"This is just record-keeping," Montalvo said. He said the machines will be in by next year.

The devices will not replace the paper ballots the county uses now. It will not impact the way votes a counted.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked Montalvo why the county would spend money on attendance books rather than electronic polling machines. Montalvo said many Starr County voters avoid electronic voting machines. He said 90 percent of the voters prefer paper ballots.

Topics: rio grande, starr county, voter, fraud, rudy montalvo

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